Oracle finally nabs PeopleSoft

Though last month’s an-nouncement that Oracle will buy PeopleSoft for US$10 billion brought some closure to the 18-month battle, resellers have mixed feelings on the deal.

Depending on the outcome of the acquisition it could put his company out of business, said one reseller who asked to remain


“”If these big ERP engines keep us on their coattail, we do well and if they don’t it could cost us our business,”” he said in an interview. “”We’re the dog’s tail and we don’t wag it. We just go wherever it takes us, unfortunately.””

Following the announcement, the reseller made some calls to his key accounts.

“”There’s uncertainty out there for the future of customers,”” he reported. “”I’m hearing back from (customers) one by one and they’re confused and uncertain as well.””

However, a Montreal-based solution provider said the deal brings some finality to prolonged period of ambiguity.

“”Uncertainty and business don’t mix very well,”” said Michael Etinson, president of, both a SAP and PeopleSoft partner. “”This provides some certainty around the outcome of the discussions and we can get on with doing business.””

Firms staying mum

Spokespeople for both companies gave no further details at press time on how the integration process would play out.

“”This company is still people with lots of integrity and an extremely high degree of professionalism and we want to assure we continue that through the transition no matter what it looks like,”” Steve Swasey, PeopleSoft spokesperson, said in a telephone interview with CDN following the announcement.

Swasey declined to comment further on channel plans or what resellers have been telling him since the announcement.

Despite Oracle’s vow to support PeopleSoft resellers and evaluate the partner network in the months ahead, Oracle president Charles Phillips was thin on the details when he spoke to reporters in at a teleconference last month.

“”There will definitely be a place for them,”” said Phillips, adding Oracle will maintain and enhance the two software makers’ product lines and will employ a similar strategy for its PeopleSoft World app suite.

But the reseller said customers think beyond the next product update or release. “”If Oracle stops developing any of these suites, then the customers in that are left at a disadvantage. Then they have to leave wherever they are,”” he said. “”If Oracle pisses them off, then the last place they’ll go is Oracle.””

Determining a singular channel strategy is one of several key issues that will decide the outcome of the acquisition as a success or failure, according to a New York-based analyst firm.

“”It’s something Oracle has to iron out right now,”” said Peter Russo, an analyst at Pierre Audoin Consultants.

“”The long-term question is who’s strategy do they go with?””

While Oracle increasingly relies on the channel to implement its solutions, PeopleSoft was doing the opposite.

Russo added that J.D. Edwards had a great channel system prior to being acquired by PeopleSoft, which turned it into more of “”PeopleSoft-like services organization,”” he said.

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